Acidic foods and drinks like pop, wine, orange juice and fruit have become staples in today’s modern diet. The increased consumption of energy drinks and sodas isn’t just impacting people’s waistlines – it’s also having an effect on oral health.
What is Acid Wear?
Acid erosion is a form of tooth wear that is caused by various acidic sources softening the outer protective layer of teeth – the enamel. Acids demineralize and soften the enamel; making the tooth more susceptible to decay and to become overly sensitive to temperature and pressure. Even brushing can cause discomfort and damage when the enamel of teeth has been worn away. Over a period of time the shape of teeth can change due to the continual and more advanced wear of the dentin – a much softer and less resistant tissue.
How Do Acids Attack Tooth Enamel?
When we eat or drink teeth are exposed to acids. Saliva plays an important role in rinsing the acids off tooth surfaces – enabling enamel to re-harden. The re-hardening or re-mineralizing of enamel isn’t instantaneous, but is in fact quite a slow process – leaving already softened teeth at risk for further erosion by acids present in the next snack or meal. And it’s not just the food and drink we’re consuming that erodes tissue – stomach acids are particularly harsh on tooth enamel – making patients who suffer from bulimia or gastric reflux particularly at risk for acid wear.
Protecting Eroded Teeth
The first step in protecting teeth from further acid wear is to remove highly acidic food and drink from the diet. Individuals who love to suck on lemons or those who consume sodas daily are recommended to change their snacking habits in favor of more alkaline foods. Diets high in white vinegar and high fructose corn syrup are further examples of foods to avoid as constant exposure to high acidic foods further weakens teeth and prevents them from being re-mineralized. Fluoride treatments can also benefit teeth with weakened enamel – as fluoride’s main objective is to help strengthen the outer tissue. Placing dentistry to protect sensitive and decay prone teeth also helps protect against further wear and restores a smile that has been altered by acid erosion. Dentists at Apple Dental Group, explain that teeth have become thin and misshapen due to erosion can be successfully restored with dentistry
Talk to the Family Dentists at Apple Dental Group about options for treating acid wear – they’ll get you smiling again.